Whatley Election Speech

A number of doctors have requested my election speech, and others have posted parts of it on social media already. So, I though it best to put down what I said.

Doctors have a new hope for positive change. They are eager to build. It feels like we have turned a corner.

Thanks so much to everyone who worked so hard this weekend!


Thank you Mr. Chair and Members of Council.


It’s time for change.


The OMA faced an unprecedented crisis:

We’ve been heckled in the legislature,

slandered in the media,

ignored for multiple pieces of legislation,

and now, after almost 4 years, we still don’t have a contract.

This is intolerable.


The OMA must do 3 things to fix this.

First, we must regain members’ trust.

We are nothing without the support of our membership.

Members must come first in everything, always, at the OMA.

Second, we must rebuild unity in the profession.

Not a superficial unity, that says, “We’re all doctors. We’re all in this together.”

That’s not good enough.

We need a profound unity that starts by addressing our fundamental differences and building a true partnership from there.

Finally, we must demand excellence from the OMA…. And excellence starts with the Board.

We have the largest labour contract in North America, and for that reason alone; we should have the best association in all of North America.


I spent six and a half years on the Board of the OMA.

I believe in the OMA.

We need a strong OMA.

But I had to resign last November, on principle, because these 3 priorities were not being addressed:





We have a big job ahead of us.

But I am certain that we—all of us here today—can build a better OMA if we do it, together.


Thank you.



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10 Replies to “Whatley Election Speech”

  1. Excellent Shawn.

    Can you post your Installation Speech as well? If not, my joke on Twitter doesn’t make sense 🙂 LOL

    Congratulations on your election and thank you for all the work you have done and will do on behalf of Ontario’s Doctors.

  2. Excellent- thank you Shawn.
    In your last post you explored the need for an OMA Public Relations Strategy- or just telling the truth. Your 3 priorities of unity, trust and excellence – and truth as a fourth- are fundamental values and the foundation of a sound Strategic Plan or Narrative. I don’t know when the OMA last created such a plan. I do know that when a strong Strategic Plan is in place, honoured and lived corporations perform better. It is a unifying touchstone for all.

    Congratulations. It is terrific to hear of the excitement of yesterday. There is tough work ahead but you have already started.

  3. Thank you for your service.

    The only way to regain trust from the profession is to ‘let your people go’ and de-rand ontario doctors.Make them WANT to be members because of the ‘excellance’ in decision making.We are the only med assoc in the country that are forced to pay dues and the only one without a PSA.
    The OMA will never represent all physicians because of diverse opinions…if it strives to represent ‘most’,let most pay.
    Forcing all to pay is morally wrong…
    If you want to ‘unite’ the profession first and foremost,de-randing MUST be the first step.

  4. Point of information:

    OMA is not the only PTMA that has mandatory dues.

    I won’t comment on whether we should or should not have mandatory dues but it is incorrect to say that Ontario is the only province that does.

    All of the Maritime provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have mandatory dues. Opting out in BC and Alberta means opting out of all negotiated benefits including CMPA subsidy.

    1. CMPA subsidies are provided in lieu of having fees fixed by a third party.They are provided to every physician whether or not one is forced to pay dues.
      To suggest one would be cut off from these ‘subsidies’ is incorrect (fear mongering).
      You cannot unify the profession by forcing them to pay dues.

  5. Congratulations Shawn! I don’t expect that you will have time now to blog the same as you’ve done or read and respond to comments.
    You know, I made sure I became involved in the processes leading to the elections and every OMA survey. Yet, lo and behold what a surprise it was for me to see you elected as our President. All I knew was that you resigned in November on excellent principles. I read the OMA articles on how people are elected to positions such as President. So I hope you can imagine my puzzlement on how you went from resignation to leader. I am so glad you are there and I would have voted for you if I could have. However, from a grass roots perspective of trust, I was blind sided and am perplexed by how this happened. Maybe it’s my fault; maybe I’ve been too busy to read articles about all the candidates vying for President. I don’t know where I went wrong on missing this information. It reminds me of the bad old days of silence in OMA decisions, but now there is hope of new blood who truly want to make this a transparent and honest process.

  6. OMA needs an intelligence service. In the 1970s the motto at the Tor School of Public Health was Break the Medical Model. Council was not told and never found out until RNAO with CEO Dr Doris Greenspun RN PhD(York) has succeeded in replacing GPs with NPs. This may be the Libs Secret Adenda. They hope NPs will concentrate on Stress & TLC and avoid looking for difficult diagnoses with expensive investigations and treatment with biologicals. . Permanent lobbyist needed @ Q.Park. Daily lunch with MPPs a must. Open Board meetings to OMA members. No need for secrecy.
    Predict few will attend; similar to CPSO Tribunals. Public theoretically can attend but rarely do. Keep list of docs with LLB , MBA and new Rotman Governance qualification. Extend Pres. Term to at least 3 years with partial pension. Takes a year to get tp lmow 270 OMA staff inc 4 OMA lawyers. A permanent suite at Hyatt across the road would help Presidents living outside Toronto.

  7. Congratulations Dr. Whatley. I look forward to your leadership.

    Regarding Rand, although I agree with certain reasons given for not having fees be compulsory, experience has shown that there are always those in society who are quite happy not to do their share or pay their fair share if given the opportunity. There are many such people in our profession as well, unfortunately. I believe many will choose not to pay their share and will do so regardless of how great a job the OMA does. Therefore, I don’t agree with the fee not being compulsory, unless there would be some disincentive to not paying fees. Regardless, I believe that, if removing Rand is being considered, it should not happen without a referendum.

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